READ: 1 Samuel 8-10
THINK: Warnings are everywhere-along roadsides, on medicines, and even on food packages. Some warnings seem to have little meaning while others can be a matter of life or death. "Warning: Hot Coffee" simply isn't in the same league with "Caution: High Voltage" or "Dangerous Curves Ahead." Some people think they're invincible and tend to ignore most warnings. Most of us take some warnings seriously but ignore others, thinking we know better. That's a disastrous attitude if it causes us to disregard God's warnings. He knows what's best in every situation. He sees the big picture. He understands what we need, when we need it and why. Rejecting His warning means rejecting His wisdom, care and protection-something we can't afford to be without in a dangerous, adventurous world.
RESPOND: Why would the sons of a godly man like Samuel choose to defy God? (See 8:1-3 note.) Why did the Israelites want a king, and what misguided assumptions did they make about their situation? (See 8:5 note, subpoint 1.) Who and what were the Israelites rejecting in asking for a king (8:7)? (See 8:5 note.) How would Israel's government change under a king (8:10-18)? (See 8:7 note.) Why did the people refuse to listen to Samuel's warnings about a king (8:19-20)? Why did God grant the people's request, and what would He teach them through this experience? (See 8:22 note.) What did it mean that the Lord "anointed" Saul, and what purpose did this serve? (See 10:1 note.) What effect would God's Spirit have on Saul? (See 10:6 note.) What does it mean that Saul became "a different person" (10:6), and what responsibility did this put on him? Of all the qualities Saul possessed, why was his heart the main issue? (See 10:9 note.) In what way was Israel's king to be different from other kings? (See 10:25 note.)
PRAY: Pray that you'll never disregard or deny God's place, provision and power in your life. Pray that the Holy Spirit's presence is active and evident in your attitudes, words and actions. Ask God to help you keep your heart pure, sincere and completely devoted to Jesus.
ACT: Has anyone-a parent, pastor, teacher, coach or friend-given you a word of warning or advice lately? It could pertain to anything from homework to relationships, from financial matters to your physical well-being. If you've disregarded the advice with little or no thought, you might be wise to reconsider. Whether the advice turns out to be worthy or not, at least give it fair consideration so you can make a more thoughtful and informed decision.
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